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Road to Hana tour when staying overnight in Hana?

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NYC
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Road to Hana tour when staying overnight in Hana?

New poster here, planning a trip to Maui next for next summer. We're staying primarily in Lahaina but would like to spend 2 nights in Hana. Not being the most experienced drivers (NYC people without a car, although with licenses), I'm intimidated by the Road to Hana. Are their tour companies that would take you to Hana accomodations, and back to the airport? How much time should you allot to get back to OGG from Hana? Or is flying out of OGG unrealistic if you are spending the previous night in Hana?

San Jose, California
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1. Re: Road to Hana tour when staying overnight in Hana?

Most people go to Hana on a day trip, and drive themselves. It is not that bad. I would be much more scared to drive in NYC than to Hana.

But if you don't want to drive, there are Hana van tours you can join. I have seen their ad, featuring a comfortable van with comfortable leather seats, and promise of good service. I have also seen them on the road, and their van tour staff came out with platter of fresh fruits for their guests during one of the stops. The pampering looked pretty cool.

I think the Hana drive tour was a day trip only though. Not sure about taking you to a hotel in Hana, then back to airport the next day. I don't know what time your OGG flight is, but getting to OGG from Hana on a shared van tour with other passengers would stress me out.

Saint Louis...
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2. Re: Road to Hana tour when staying overnight in Hana?

My friend drove the Hana Highway and Kudos to her for doing it!! She is a confident, competent driver with nerves of steel. If you are iffy about the driving, I'd take a tour. The people on the one tour we saw looked rushed at the stop we were at, but if the tradeoff was taking a tour, driving and being terrified, or not seeing the Road to Hana at all, I'd pick the tour.

I agree with the above poster that the trip from Hana to the airport would be stressful, if not impossible.

ON, Canada
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3. Re: Road to Hana tour when staying overnight in Hana?

I'm not sure you would want to be in Hana for 2 nights without a vehicle, unless you really wanted some down time. I think one of the appealing parts about staying there is exploring the area.

I would have a look at Valley Isle Excursions. I don't think they offer an overnight, but you could ask them if they do this on a request basis and if it works with your flight from OGG. If not, I would do a one day tour with them in the middle of your vacation.

Another option is a one day trip - tour van there, helicopter back to the airport: hawaiiactive.com/activities/maui-skytrek.html The concern with that is if the weather is bad and they have to cancel, you won't have an alternate date and will miss seeing the Hana area. (When we book helicopter tours, we schedule them early or mid trip in case of a weather delay of a day or two.)

Maui
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4. Re: Road to Hana tour when staying overnight in Hana?

Aloha,

There aren't any companies that 'drop' you in Hana. As great as Valley Isle is, I don't think they'll do it either, unless you were willing to pay for 2 trips. They only use small vans, so they'd have to keep 2 seats unsold on your 'pickup day'.

Also, they go around the back side after stopping at Oheo Gulch, and the timing prob wouldn't be great with your flights (plus the prob of luggage).

I'd suggest booking either their one day tour or the Sky Trek (if ya' can afford it). Both are very nice.

Kapaa, Hawaii
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5. Re: Road to Hana tour when staying overnight in Hana?

Even if you found a company that would do this, it would be extremely expensive. There really isn't anything scary about the Hana Hwy, I think you would surprised how easy it really is. You wouldn't be going more than about 25 mph!!

You really only have two choices. Drive yourself and stay a few days or take some kind of day tour.

NYC
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6. Re: Road to Hana tour when staying overnight in Hana?

Thanks, everyone. A friend who has been to Maui suggested driving it the "opposite" way (counterclockwise?) so the car would be in the inside lane on the road.

I think if we end up booking a night or two in Hana, we'll brave the drive. I get vertigo, so it would not be me doing the driving!

Iowa
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7. Re: Road to Hana tour when staying overnight in Hana?

Since Maui is in the USA we drive on the right side. Driving counter clockwise puts you in the outside lane.

Aloha

Teri

Maui
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8. Re: Road to Hana tour when staying overnight in Hana?

Aloha,

Ruh-roh........through no fault of yours, Rebecca, you've just pressed a nuclear warhead button.

All the major car rental agencies prohibit driving the "back road". See here for the map:

honolulupublishing.com/MauiMaps/maui_map_isl…

This topic comes up often and nearly always results in a war between those who say don't and those who say do. You might want to do a search for some past threads and you will see what I mean.

Also, your friend is actually not helping your vertigo. If you did the back road, you would be on the outside, with no guardrails for nearly the entire road until you reached just outside Hana.

From Hana back to Kahului, you would be on the outside too (as you will be if you just drive the permitted route up and back).

Going the 'legal' route only puts you on the outside once. You will be on the inside on the way to Hana.

I think you should watch some videos of the road. Many of the one lane bridges are suspended over gulches, and there are 54 of them. There are 617-649 hairpin curves on the road (depending on who counted).

Your vertigo may make the whole idea moot, not just staying in Hana but even driving all the way there.

Next to water
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9. Re: Road to Hana tour when staying overnight in Hana?

On the way there your car is on the inside lane. The inside lane causes blind right hand turns which can bother some people more than riding on the outside lane.

On the way back your car will be on the outside lane. I didn't find this disturbing and I am afraid of heights and was the passenger. The only time I felt terrified was when we stopped off and got near the edge of the cliff to take pictures!

I also get extremely carsick and had no issues on RTH. Luck? I don't know.

I wouldn't let the drive psych you out. It's not fast, it's not really bad. I just wouldn't do it at night, as a noob, right after I got off a flight from the east coast! Other than that, enjoy yourself as it's quite a nice ride. If you feel you are slowing down traffic, just pull off the road at the next safe/obvious place and cars can pass you. It's common and appreciated.

If you are actually staying in Hana for a day or two, consider driving out later in the morning since you don't have to rush to get back...you'll miss most of the morning traffic and won't have the additional worry of driving too slow or other people pushing you etc. One time I think we left at 10 or 11am and not too many cars going in at that time. Most people who are doing the one day trip to hana and back are on the road much earlier in the morning.

Unless you or the driver is really panicky and afraid for some reason, the road to hana from a fear standpoint is rather exaggerated IMO. There are a couple really tight squeezes once you get to hana and are travelling toward Oheo gulch but at that point you are already in/past hana!

safe travels and enjoy!

Kapaa, Hawaii
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10. Re: Road to Hana tour when staying overnight in Hana?

Your friend is totally mistaken. All major rental car companies prohibit you from driving on a section of road which you will hit early by going counter clockwise. Doing this will put you on the outside lane and what I would consider the worst part of the whole Hana Hwy!!

By driving clockwise, you will be on the inside lane all the way, then since you are prohibited from going further than about Kipahulu, you will turn around and go back the same way. Which, will put you on the outside lane, but really, there is nothing I would consider "scary" on this drive. Speed limit tops out at 25mph.